February may be a short month, but it does not lack for holidays, and we celebrated!
We started our day reviewing what we learned about hibernating animals in January. We came to realize that groundhogs hibernate, too, and if they come out early, it's likely that the cause is warmer weather (among other factors), and warmer weather means an early spring.
The next thing we did was make a graphic organizer to show how many of us thought that the famous groundhog, Punxatawney Phil would see his shadow or not. Three of us thought he would see his shadow, and two of us did not. We then watched this broadcast of Punxatawney Phil's prognostication.
Once we learned that Phil predicted an early spring, we cheered! Later in the day, the children used fingerpaint to make their own groundhog-and-shadow artwork.
Chinese New Year:
The children and I watched a five-minute video telling the story of Nian, the destructive dragon who appeared every new year and the wise old man (or woman in some stories) who learned the secret of driving Nian away. We learned that Nian is afraid of loud noises (like bursting firecrackers) and the color red. Luckily, some of us were already wearing red, so we had a good start. Together, we created quite a ruckus banging pots and pans with spoons and parading around the house. With all the noise, there's no way Nian would be visiting Blue Sky Daycare!
The children also celebrated by using lots of fine motor skills to color, glue, and fold as they created a dragon puppet of their own.
Valentine's Day Celebration:
The children and I worked on four love-themed circle time rhymes. Our two favorites were "Love Grows One by One" and "Skinamarinky-Dinky-Dink (I Love You)." The children did a fantastic job learning the hand gestures and motions that go along!
We had a super fun time setting up and taking pictures in our Valentine's Day "Photo Booth," and I'm not sure these kids could possibly be any cuter! (Please note that you can scroll through the photos like a slideshow)
We also enjoyed some process art as we created Valentine's Day artwork. The children used watercolor to paint the background of their artwork, then I helped them make handprints and footprints. It was hard to say if it was more fun to make the prints or to wash the paint off in the sink.
To cap off our Valentine's Day activities, we baked Valentine's Day cookies from scratch. The children helped measure, pour, mix, and then decorate the cookies, then brought them home to share with their families. What a sweet ending to our Valentine's celebration!
We spent this month reading a few fun Valentine's Day books, most notably Here Comes Valentine Cat by Deborah Underwood and Happy Valentine's Day, Little Critter by Mercer Mayer. It was fun to use the books to relate how showing your love or extending friendship can make you feel great!
Milder temperatures brought back more outdoor play, both with snow...